‘Bel Ami’ 2012 trailer: Robert Pattinson as Guy de Maupassant’s ambitious sex animal
Centered on Robert Pattinson as Guy de Maupassant’s sexually alluring antihero Georges Duroy, the good-looking Bel Ami trailer is out.
Instead of the very young Kristen Stewart, in Bel Ami the Twilight movies’ vampire Edward Cullen “makes love to” (i.e., has sex with) a more mature Kristin Scott Thomas and a whole array of other females of varying ages, shapes, and civil/social statuses.
British stage veterans/film newcomers Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod directed this latest movie adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s classic 1885 novel about impoverished but ambitious ex-soldier Georges Duroy, who uses his drive, his wit, and his penis to get ahead in life.
Some will call Duroy a man-whore, but that’s merely hypocrisy mixed with envy. After all, men (and women) must sell their wares in every profession. Only the willfully self-deluded choose to believe otherwise.
And then there’s the fact that most men don’t look like Robert Pattinson and don’t get to frolic in bed with women who look like Duroy’s conquests. See below.
‘Bel Ami’ vs. ‘Chéri’
Comparisons between Bel Ami and Stephen Frears’ critical and box office flop Chéri, about the affair between an older courtesan (Michelle Pfeiffer) and the titular younger man (Rupert Friend), are off the mark.
Although it’s true that both Bel Ami and Chéri are period pieces based on classic French novels – set at the dawn of the 20th century, Colette’s Chéri came out in 1920 – Rupert Friend’s privileged loverboy is radically different from Pattinson’s starved Georges Duroy.
Bel Ami, for its part, has more in common with Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ Dangerous Liaisons, coincidentally a 1988 Stephen Frears-Michelle Pfeiffer effort that earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination, in addition to nods for supporting player Pfeiffer and lead actress Glenn Close.
And finally, Bel Ami also has quite a bit in common with Maurine Dallas Watkins’ thoroughly 20th century play Chicago (especially Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 silent film adaptation toplining Phyllis Haver) and Alfred E. Green’s Baby Face, a 1933 pre-Code classic in which Barbara Stanwyck uses her drive, her wit, and her physical attributes to reach the top of the corporate ladder.
‘Bel Ami’ movies
Long before Robert Pattinson, among cinema’s previous versions of Guy de Maupassant’s Bel Ami are:
- Willi Forst’s Bel Ami (1939), starring Forst himself in the title role. Also in the cast: Olga Tschechowa, Ilse Werner, and Hilde Hildebrand.
- Albert Lewin’s The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947), starring future Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner George Sanders (All About Eve, 1950) – 40/41 years old at the time – as Georges Duroy. Also in the cast: Angela Lansbury, Ann Dvorak, and Frances Dee.
- Louis Daquin’s French-language Bel Ami (1955), featuring Jean Danet in the title role. Also in the cast: Anne Vernon, Renée Faure, and Marianne Schönauer.
- Also directed by Louis Daquin, the 1955 German-language version of the story, Bel-Ami Der Frauenheld von Paris, featured veteran Dutch actor Johannes Heesters – in his early 50s at the time – as the French social climber. Also in the cast: Gretl Schörg, Maria Emo, and the French version’s Marianne Schönauer.
‘Bel Ami’ cast
Besides Robert Pattinson, Best Actress Academy Award nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient, 1996), Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, 1994), and Christina Ricci, the R-rated Bel Ami also features the following:
Christina Ricci. Kristin Scott Thomas. Colm Meaney. Natalie Tena. Holliday Grainger. Pip Torrens. James Lance. Todd Peterson.
Rachel Bennette adapted Guy de Maupassant’s novel.
‘Bel Ami’ release dates
Bel Ami is scheduled to open on March 9 in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The film will also be screened on Feb. 22 at the Glasgow Film Festival, the day before it opens in Portugal.
Bel Ami opens in Brazil on June 22; in France, on June 27. No set dates as yet for the United States.
Also, on Jan. 2 and 3, Belgium’s Kinepolis chain will feature sneak previews of Bel Ami at several theaters in Antwerp, Bruges, and a handful of other cities. These are part of Kinepolis’ “Ladies at the Movies” screenings – described as “an evening without men but with a top film.”
Update: The Kinepolis screenings notwithstanding, Bel Ami will have its official World Premiere – out of competition – on Feb. 17 at the 2012 Berlinale.
Further update: In the U.S., Bel Ami will be available on VOD on May 4. Magnolia Pictures will distribute the period drama in U.S. theaters on June 8.
Robert Pattinson movies
In addition to Bel Ami, Robert Pattinson will be seen in two more 2012 releases:
- David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis is supposed to come out sometime in late 2012. Also in the cast: Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method), Juliette Binoche (Caché / Hidden), Paul Giamatti (Sideways), Samantha Morton (Minority Report), Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), and Jay Baruchel (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice). Update: Cosmopolis will be screened in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
- In November, Pattinson will be back as the vampire Edward Cullen in Bill Condon’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, the final installment in the Twilight movie franchise. Kristen Stewart (who may also be at Cannes with Walter Salles’ On the Road) and Taylor Lautner co-star. Also in the Breaking Dawn 2 cast: Elizabeth Reaser, Peter Facinelli, Dakota Fanning, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Booboo Stewart, Maggie Grace, and Billy Burke.
Kristin Scott Thomas, Uma Thurman & Christina Ricci: Current & upcoming movies
Kristin Scott Thomas is featured with Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor in Lasse Hallström’s Salmon Fishing in Yemen, which opened a few weeks ago in the United States.
Christina Ricci’s next will possibly be Sarah Spillane’s Around the Clock, while Uma Thurman has three movies lined up:
- Oliver Stone’s Savages, with John Carter star Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Demián Bichir, Aaron Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, Joel David Moore, Mia Maestro, and Trevor Donovan.
- Gabriele Muccino’s Playing the Field, with Gerard Butler, Judy Greer, Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Dennis Quaid.
- The omnibus all-star comedy Movie 43, with Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Gerard Butler, Elizabeth Banks, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Bell, Seann William Scott, Kate Bosworth, Chloë Grace Moretz, Anna Faris, Naomi Watts, Richard Gere, Josh Duhamel, Justin Long, and Liev Schreiber.
Uma Thurman on ‘ubiquitous’ Robert Pattinson question
Jan. 11 update: “To answer the ubiquitous question about this movie, yes, Robert is good-looking in person, but he doesn’t have that diamond-sparkle skin like in those Dracula movies,” Uma Thurman recently told Harper’s Bazaar UK.
The movie in question is Bel Ami, the Robert in question is Robert Pattinson, and the “Dracula movies” in question are – one assumes – the Twilight movies that have turned Pattinson into a household name.
In the same interview, Thurman added that Pattinson is “a very disciplined, very serious, very ambitious, very organized actor.” Perhaps it’s no coincidence that his Bel Ami character is also quite disciplined, serious, ambitious, and organized (and horny).
That’s ex-soldier Georges Duroy, who, through his good looks, sexual prowess, and mathematical cunning, manages to rise to the heights of 19th century Parisian society. (If the sign above Pattinson’s head – see further below – doesn’t look too French, that’s probably because Bel Ami was partly shot in Budapest.)
19th-century French corsets & 21st-century Hollywood ageism
About her character, Madeleine Forestier, one of the many women in the life of Georges Duroy, Uma Thurman chose not to delve too deeply into her psyche: “It was a fun character, a nice, meaty, dramatic role, and who doesn’t love an excuse to wear a corset?”
And finally, regarding her own Hollywood career, Thurman told Harper’s UK:
There’s a lot of aggressive talk in this business. You turn 18 and they say you won’t have a career at 20. You turn 24 and they say you won’t last till you’re 30. Now it’s like, if I’m so over, why are you talking to me now?
Feb. 16 update: Robert Pattinson fans can watch online the live streaming Bel Ami photocall/press conference and red carpet arrivals at the Berlin Film Festival on Friday, Feb. 17, at, respectively, 1:45 p.m. and – to be confirmed – 6:45 p.m. local time. (Photocall/press conference: 7:45 a.m. EST; red carpet: 12:45 p.m. EST.)
Other Berlinale live streams this Friday are those for Kim Nguyen’s War Witch / Rebelle and Tsui Hark’s Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. Both films are part of the Berlin festival’s Official Competition.
Robert Pattinson and Uma Thurman Bel Ami images: The Bel Ami Facebook page.
Bel Ami trailer, clips, and poster featuring Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci, Holliday Grainger, and Colm Meaney: RAI Cinema / 19 Entertainment / Redwave Films.
“Bel Ami Trailer 2012: Robert Pattinson Realizes Sex Is Most Effective Social-Climbing Gear” last updated in June 2018.